Jackie Gleason on segment of the popular 50's TV series "Cavalcade of Stars", doing a sketch called "The Honeymooners", which was later turned into a sitcom. "Cavalcade of Stars" started in 1949 and quickly became one of the most popular shows on The DuMont Television Network. Jackie Gleason was the 3rd and most popular host of the series. "The Honeymooners" started as a series of sketches, and later became a classic CBS sitcom still shown in syndication today.
While the sitcom is still copyrighted, "Cavalcade of Stars" has long been public domain. This excerpt is all I have of the episode (I wish I could see the whole thing! Jackie did lots of different sketches back then).
Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden
Art Carney as Ed Norton
Pert Kelton as Alice Kramden
Joyce Randolph As Trixie Norton
January 15, 2017 Subject:
Season 3, Episode 15
This 'Honeymooners' sketch is part of an episode from Season 3, Episode 15, 'The Ring Salesman', 12/7/1951.
Thank you Robin_1990 for sharing.
July 23, 2012 Subject:
I was just thinking of Pert Kelton's characterization of Alice and a thought just struck me. In order for two people to live together in marriage she may have been directed to act like a female version of Ralph and get as angry in order to cope with such a hot head.
May 9, 2012 Subject:
This was cool,had never seen this original clip,loved it.On a side note,I got to meet Mr.Gleason(and Elton John,Angie Dickinson,and members of the Atlanta Falcons team,on the same night)where I worked as a teen(Aunt Fanny's Cabin restuarant-Atlanta,Ga.summer 1978),and treated us kids like we were the first fans to ever want his autograph,what a class act and wonderful man!
May 5, 2012 Subject:
August 9, 2008 Subject:
I'm surprised by Art Carney
I've read of the pre-Audrey Meadows Honeymooners but have never seen one. I enjoyed Pert Kelton, especially at the end of the piece. She was quite a good actor and would have moved the series into a whole different direction than her successor. The big surprise to me was Art Carney. Jackie Gleason's Ralph is the same, Joyce Randolph's Trixie is the same, and I expected Norton to match his later persona, too. That particular characterization is very close to what Art Carney used as "Newton the Waiter," a part he played in the Morey Amsterdam show (also in the Internet Archive). But Art Carney was also known for his impressions, and in this episode of the Honeymooners, he's doing his immpression of Slapsy Maxie Rosenbloom, a former-boxer-turned-comedian who set the mold for what a punch-drunk fighter sounds like. Norton looks like his old self (albeit younger) but sounds like a boxer who was hit in the head too many times. Everyone mentions the big change when Meadows took over the Alice role from Kelton, but who knew Norton started out so differently?
July 19, 2008 Subject:
Amazing to see DuMont Network footage. Almost the entire archive of the company was destroyed during the 70's.
March 22, 2008 Subject:
Seeds of greatness
Most of the ingredients that made the Honeymooners a huge hit are here already. The big difference here is Alice. She's not played by Audrey Meadows like we're used to seeing later. She's played by Pert Kelton, the original Alice.
The reason given at the time for her replacement was that she had health problems that kept her from continuing on. But the truth was that she was kept out because of the blacklist of actors and actresses thought to be communist at the time.
Notwithstanding, I think the chemistry between Gleason and Meadows was more balanced than what you'll see here. Still, the shape of things to come is always fun to see.